It’s every eBay seller’s biggest gripe: eBay is expensive to sell on!
I enjoy a good rant about eBay fees as much as the next guy, but I also think that you get a lot of bang for your buck when you sell on eBay: They get an insane amount of buyers coming to their site everyday who are ready to buy. This means that you don’t have to spend any money (or a lot of time) on trying to pull buyers to your listings.
Instead, eBay does this for you, and your fees cover their ongoing marketing costs which ensures that those buyers keep coming to the site, and that everything runs smoothly when they do.
However, there are some simple ways that you can easily cut down on the costs of selling on eBay so check out my 5 tips below and if you have any additional tips to share, please leave a comment.
1. Host your own product photos
We all know how important it is to include multiple photos of the items we are selling , but this comes at a cost with each photo (bar the first one you upload which is free) costing $0.15 cents which can soon add up!
By hosting your images on a free image hosting website, you can embed the images into your HTML listing and stop paying photo listing fees.
Here’s how to do it:
Use a free image hosting site such as ImageShack.us. Just sign up for a free account and start uploading your images.
Uploading your photos to Image Shack is very similar to uploading to eBay – just click browse and search through your files for the images you want to upload.
From there, each image will be given a URL which you simply enter into your HTML code of your listing.
The code will look something like this:
<img src="http://www.example.com/my-image.jpg" />
2. Save on insertion fees for auction-format listings
By familiarizing yourself with eBay fees structure, you can really save yourself some money.
If you take a look at the fees information below, you will see that if you list an item with a reserve of $10, you will pay a 50 cent insertion fee. But if you set the reserve to $9.99, your insertion fee is only 25 cents, and across say 50 listings for the week, for a medium volume seller, this can really add up to some big savings on fees. Better in your pocket than eBay’s, right?
As you can see above, the same rule applies for anything that you might list for $25, $50, or $200. You’re much better off selling it for 1 cent less to save on fees.
I think this one is pretty obvious to a lot of sellers, but I wanted to bring it up because if you don’t know about it, it could be costing you a lot of money.
3. Skip insertion fees for Second Chance Offers
Use eBay’s Second Chance Offers feature to your financial advantage: If you have multiple identical items that you sell in an auction, offer all your bidders (other than the winning bidder!) a second chance to buy the item. When you make sales this way, you skip the extra insertion fees.
4. Explore PayPal alternatives
PayPal is without a doubt the most popular payment method on eBay… but it comes at a premium! To help offset the costs of receiving payments from buyers, explore some of the other options that eBay allows such as payment via credit card through your merchant account (more cost-effective for high-volume sellers), MoneyBookers, ProPay and PayMate.
5. Review your Fee Invoices
This is my best advice for you if you want to save money on eBay fees. Like any serious business owner, you need to have a good understanding of your costings and where your biggest expenses are. The best way to do this is to view your eBay invoices inside you’re My eBay Dashboard.
Here’s a screenshot of part of one of my recent invoices:
You can see that my biggest costs were scheduling my listings (to end at an optimal time) and listing photos. After reviewing this invoice, I can see that I would benefit from hosting my images off-eBay and wherever possible, manually listing items rather than scheduling them.
Got more money-saving tips? Share them below, we would love to hear from you!
Olga Graham on 12:36 29 AprI agree with the comment about hosting your own product photos. I personally use Photobucket and have been able to include lots of photos, as well as animated pictures, embellishments etc., all to make the sale look interesting. Its amazing what sort of free stuff is available. And it pays off. Many buyers comment on the "personal" or "humorous" sides of the item and seem to appreciate the personal touch. I wonder though, how long before eBay realizes that this is a fairly easy way for the seller to sidestep costs. I am dreading the day that HTML coding is no longer allowed (or is permitted at a cost). And it's easy. If I can do it, so can anybody.